Black Company Wiki
Black Company Wiki

Glen Cook (born July 9, 1944) is the author of the Black Company series, along with numerous other fantasy and science-fiction novels.


Glen Cook was born in New York. He lived in southern Indiana as a small child, and later grew up in northern California. He started writing short stories in 7th grade, and had several published in a high school literary magazine. After graduating from high school he joined the United States Navy where he got much of his inspiration and distinctive voice for the Black Company series. He next attended the University of Missouri. He was one of the earliest graduates of the well-known Clarion Writer's Workshop in 1970, where he met his wife Carol. He was employed by General Motors for 33 years. He has three sons and numerous grandchildren. He is currently retired and resides near St. Louis, Missouri.

In a 2006 interview, Cook shared some details about his history and creative process.


  • Prometheus Award Best Novel Nominee (1986) - A Matter of Time

List of works[]

In addition to the Black Company series, Glen Cook has written and published a number of other long running series, as well as several standalone novels and short stories. A list of these can be found below:


All of these series include short stories published in anthologies, and several have been republished in omnibus.

  • The Dread Empire – Dark Fantasy (1979-2012)
  • Garrett P.I. – Modern Fantasy / Detective (1987-2013)
  • Instrumentalities of the Night – Dark Fantasy / Alternative History (2005-2014)
  • Starfishers – Science-Fiction (1973-1985)
  • Darkwar – Science-Fiction (1982-1985)

Standalone novels[]

  • The Swap Academy (1970 as Greg Stevens) 
  • The Heirs of Babylon (1972)
  • The Swordbearer (1982)
  • A Matter of Time (1985)
  • The Dragon Never Sleeps (1988)
  • The Tower of Fear (1989)
  • Sung in Blood (1992)

Short stories[]

  • "Silverheels" (1971)
  • "Song from a Forgotten Hill" (1971)
  • "And Dragons in the Sky" (1972)
  • "Appointment in Samarkand" (1972)
  • "The Devil's Tooth" (1974)
  • "In the Wind" (1975)
  • "The Recruiter" (1977)
  • "The Seventh Fool" (1978)
  • "Ponce" (1978)
  • "Enemy Territory" (1983)
  • "The Good Magician" (2010)

Interviews with selected highlights[]

2011 video interview, Utopiales: External link to YouTube; External link to transcript

Water Sleeps” comes from a Turkish proverb and “Soldiers Live” comes from a poem written by a Vietnam veteran soldier about feeling guilty about how he survived but his friends didn’t. “She Is the Darkness” comes from a song called Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac.
...the first six books were written by hand and using a typewriter and the last four were written mostly on computer. And on a computer you can just waste a lot of time and get a lot fatter and a lot more space because you don’t have to retype your manuscript. When you have to retype 300 pages of something because you’re making changes, it’s just a lot of physical work, so you try to keep it short and get it done right the first time, whereas with a computer you can push a button and make changes all the way through. So, I think computers are the biggest reason that my books have gone longer over the years.
With the Black Company I took advice from Fritz Leiber who was my mentor and who said “Don’t draw a map because if you draw a map, as soon as you start drawing the map, you start narrowing your possibilities”. As long as you don’t have a map you don’t have to conform to certain things. I have a vague map inside my head and I’ve seen many maps on the internet of what people thought the Black Company world might be like. They’re not too far off, but they’re not close either. It’s north and south with a pond in the middle.

2006 October interview with J. Buck Caldwell: Internal link to article

2005 January interview with Strange Horizons: External link

last year at a convention a guy came in specifically just to meet me. He was in the 5th Special Forces group that was in Iraq before the war actually started, and he had spent a good deal of time in Baghdad. He said the group had one set of Black Company books, and they fought each other over those books more than they fought the Iraqis.

2002 February interview with Quantum Muse at Boskone 39: External link

The cover of The Black Company was a cover somebody made up for me. It was just an example. The marketing guy absolutely didn't want it. But, while it was on his desk, a buyer from a large chain bookstore came in and, not knowing anything about the book, said "I'll buy fifty thousand copies of anything with that on the cover," so they went with it.